In 1951, musician Kenneth Peacock (1922–2000) secured a contract from the National Museum of Canada (today the Canadian Museum of History) to collect folksongs in Newfoundland. As the province had recently joined Confederation, the project was deemed a goodwill gesture, while at the same time adding to the Museum’s meager Anglophone archival collections. Between 1951 and 1961, over the course of six field visits, Peacock collected 766 songs and melodies from 118 singers in 38 communities, later publishing two-thirds of this material in a three-volume collection, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports (1965). As the publication consists of over 1000 pages, Outports is considered to be a bible for Newfoundland singers and a valuable resource for researchers. However, Peacock’s treatment of the material by way of tune-text collations, use of lines and stanzas from unpublished songs has always been somewhat controversial. Additionally, comparison of the field collection with Outports indicates that although Peacock acquired a range of material, his personal preferences requently guided his publishing agenda.
To ensure that the songs closely correspond to what the singers presented to Peacock, the collection has been prepared by drawing on Peacock’s original music and textual notes and his original field recordings. The collection is far-ranging and eclectic in that it includes British and American broadsides, musical hall and vaudeville material alongside country and western songs, and local compositions. It also highlights the influence of popular media on the Newfoundland song tradition and contextualizes a number of locally composed songs. In this sense, it provides a key link between what Peacock actually recorded and the material he eventually published. As several of the songs have not previously appeared in the standard Newfoundland collections, The Forgotten Songs sheds new light on the extent of Peacock’s collecting.
The collection includes 125 songs arranged under 113 titles along with extensive notes on the songs, and brief biographies of the 58 singers.
Thanks to the Research Centre for the Study of Music Media and Place, a video of the launch event, held in St.John's, Newfoundland, is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghj6E6-QiLI&t=21s.
The collection is far-ranging and eclectic in that it includes British and American broadsides, musical hall and vaudeville material alongside country and western songs, as well as local compositions.
It also highlights the influence of popular media on the Newfoundland song tradition and contextualizes a number of locally composed songs. In this sense, it provides a key link between what Peacock actually recorded and the material he eventually published.
The work is a model of ethnomusicological scholarship, an impressive achievement that should again renew interest in Peacock's great but neglected 1965 publication. One would think that to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday this year the Canadian Museum of History might see fit to reissue Songs of the Newjoundland Outports. Better still, it could commission Anna Guigné to re-edit those three volumes, adding to each item the admirable scholarly annotations that help make this songbook such a valuable resource.
[...] it can be read as one would read a narrative, and provides enjoyable moments of the captured cadences and joie de vivre of its subjects. (...) Guigné uses her considerable scholarly talents to present more information about these songs and their singers, and she does so without agenda.
• French recordings: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFa-ZGxOkJasGp1OIQbGikRl2lv-UsGBZ • English recordings: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2vXDJApK3rS4fcJq1WnAd8pb2-WYjQhi • Podcast with Anna Guigné: http://www.ichblog.ca/2016/11/forgotten-songs-of-newfoundland.html
"‘Forgotten songs’ of outport Newfoundland discovered again Published on December 12, 2016 ‘Forgotten songs’ of outport Newfoundland discovered again The Forgotten Songs of the Newfoundland Outports: As Taken from Kennett Peacock's Newfoundland Field Collection, 1951-1961 Kennett Peacock’s three-volume 1965 collection “Songs of the Newfoundland Outports” has had a tremendous influence on singers in the province.
A new work by Anna Guigné has brought together the best of the remaining unpublished material from Peacock’s 1951-1961 field collection.
Guigné is an independent folklorist and adjunct professor affiliated with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s ethnomusicology program.
Recently published by the University of Ottawa Press and the Canadian Museum of History as part of the Mercury Series, “The Forgotten Songs of the Newfoundland Outports” features 127 songs arranged under 115 titles with song notes and biographies of the 58 different singers."
It is hoped the book will raise awareness of Peacock’s contribution to Canada’s musical collections and revive interest in his research into the music of outport Newfoundland. http://www.southerngazette.ca/news/local/2016/12/12/_forgotten-songs-of-outport-newfoundland-discovered-again.html
• Living Heritage: http://livingheritage.libsyn.com/podcast/ep061-forgotten-songs-of-the-newfoundland-outports-with-anna-guigne • Launch: link to MMaP's YouTube channel now containing the November 30, 2016 launch of my new publication The Forgotten Songs of the Newfoundland Outports As Taken from Kenneth Peacock’s Newfoundland Field Collection, 1951-1961 (Ottawa University Press and the Canadian Museum of History Mercury Series). o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghj6E6-QiLI o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghj6E6-QiLI
"The work includes a valuable (...) history of song collecting in Newfoundland before Peacock, an account of his various expeditions, and a discussion of the influence of the media in shaping the Newfoundland and Labrador song tradition. Guigné's scholarship in annotating the songs is impressive (...) The work is a model of ethnomusicological scholarship, an impressive achievement that should again renew interest in Peacock's great but neglected 1965 publication."